Belle

The new Australiana

KEN DONE HAS NOT WAVE RED from his mission since he began creating his vibrant and exuberant artworks 40 years ago. “In all my paintings – with very few exceptions – I try to celebrate the optimism and natural beauty of Australia,” says Ken. But while the inspiration has remained consistent since he held his first solo show in Sydney in 1980, global reaction to his art and design has waxed and waned. From widespread acclaim in the early 80s and near-insatiable demand for his colourful T-shirts celebrating Sydney’s Opera House and Harbour Bridge throughout the decade, he found himself in the creative wilderness in the 90s as ‘Australiana’, with all its clip-on koalas and shrimps on barbies, went out of fashion.

“The 80s was an incredible burst of national pride and optimism, but you get to

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